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Workshop provides support for Marriage and Marriage Educators

Recently we were fortunate to attend the Smartloving ‘Breakthrough’ workshop presented by Francine and Byron Pirola, directors of the Marriage Resource Centre in Australia, organised by the Christchurch Diocese Marriage Educators Committee.
The Breakthrough workshop is a new resource developed by the Pirolas in response to recognition that it is increasingly difficult for married couples to commit to a full weekend retreat. Breakthrough aims to provide many of the same benefits of the traditional weekend programme but presented in a half day format making it more accessible to today’s busy married couple.  The workshop was very well received by the approximately 20 couples who attended.
The workshop took the format of a series of short presentations alternating with time for our own private reflection.  We looked at conflict resolution, forgiveness and some tools for improving our communication. The content was practical, grounded in Catholic theology and delivered with humour and candour.
We were both amazed at how much quality material was covered in such a short time and delivered in a way that did not feel rushed or superficial.
An additional session was provided in the afternoon for those involved in marriage education within the diocese. In this session we explored the Spirituality of Marriage and identified the unique characteristics of this sacrament as lived out in our daily lives.
All in all, for us it was a day well spent gaining insight and tools to refresh our relationship. If you get the opportunity to attend a Breakthrough workshop we would highly recommend it.
For more information about Breakthrough and other resources of the Marriage Resource Centre visit www.smartloving.org 
Featured Image: Rob and Tracey Haughey, Marriage Educators – St Francis of Assisi Parish